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If you’ve just given birth, you know that along with your new bundle of joy comes a whole lot of postpartum bleeding. This is because the uterus is still healing from where the placenta was attached. This is what causes bleeding and the need for postpartum pads.
For a couple of weeks, it can get a bit messy down there and this is when finding the best postpartum pads can be a lifesaver.
You will need postpartum pads soon after your delivery. Most of the time the hospital will provide you with their own postpartum pads (and heavenly mesh underwear) while you are in the hospital but getting your own stash is helpful for when you head home.
Compared to regular menstrual pads, maternity pads/postpartum pads are more gentle on your vaginal skin and can also handle the postpartum bleeding better. Because they are meant for postpartum, they can also promote faster healing and minimize skin rashes, irritation, and other reactions.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing the best postpartum pads:
How many postpartum do you need?
During the first couple of days, there may be intense bleeding and you will need to change your pads frequently, as often as every 60 to 90 minutes (although you should always consult your doctor if you are experiencing unusual heavy bleeding).
Some women do bleed less than others but it’s always better to have more rather than to run out of pads. In order to prevent skin irritations and other infections, it is best to not leave your pad for longer than four hours.
You will need postpartum pads for around four to five weeks but as time goes by and you start to heal, you will need to change your pads less frequently.
A good number of postpartum pads to have on hand is roughly 150 to 200. This is equivalent to using around one to two packs of disposable pads a week. If you find that you bought too much, you can always use them for later when your period returns.
How to use postpartum pads
Place the pad on your underwear and the sticky side will hold it down. If your postpartum pads have wings, they can attach to the sides and help make it extra secure.
If the pad is already soaked, you can throw it away if they are disposable or throw it in the wash for cloth pads.
Tips for picking out the best postpartum pads
Opt for pads with wings –
Getting pads with wings is one of the best things you can do to save your underwear and your clothing in general. It can help prevent leaks and stains and ensures your pad will stay in place.
Get a wide assortment –
Make sure you have different kinds of postpartum pads on hand – overnight, thinner pads, and pantyliners. This is so that you will have different choices for various situations at all times.
Cloth or disposable –
Postpartum cloth pads are definitely softer than the disposable ones but they are also quite tedious to clean and wash all the time, especially during the busy postpartum stage.
They are also more environmentally friendly. They can be more expensive but they can also be used for long-term and you will always have some on hand as long as you have washed them.
Disposable postpartum pads are generally easier to use and won’t require a lot of effort – you have the convenience of being able to bring them around anywhere (they are also individually packed) and throw them away after every use.
They are also made to really absorb bleeding and so you are less likely to suffer from leaks compared to cloth pads.
During postpartum, your lady parts can get really sensitive and especially if this is your first pregnancy, it can get really sore down there. Getting soft postpartum pads can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable and also prevent skin irritations.
Postpartum pads that have natural materials like cotton or fiber are thicker but softer so they can do the job well, but still be gentle on your skin. The kind of material used will also affect how comfy it is to wear them.
Keep in mind you need a good size to sustain a heavy flow and prevent leaks.
Stay away from scented pads since these could cause irritation to sensitive skin.
There are affordable ones and more expensive ones out there. The price range for your package of pads is generally around $6- $30 depending on if you choose disposable or cloth.
Benefits of Postpartum Pads
- Can handle heavy postpartum bleeding and prevent any leakages.
- Compared to regular pads, postpartum pads don’t have any waves or designs which can scratch, irritate, and even catch on to your stitches.
- Postpartum pads can provide a soft cushion for your extra sensitive perineum.
- When you use postpartum pads, you can see how much you are bleeding or if there are any clots. You can also monitor if your blood clots are in normal range and if they are not, contact your doctor immediately.
- Compared to tampons or menstrual cups, postpartum pads won’t put you at risk for an infection since they are placed outside your body.
The Best Postpartum Pads
These pads are organic (plastic-free, chlorine-free, and fragrance-free) but still thick, soft, and quite big. This means it can absorb at lot of blood and still keep your skin dry and prevent irritation.
Since they are biodegradable, they are also eco-friendly. They are a bit more expensive than other pads but they are definitely worth the money.
Because these pads are thin, they feel super comfy but still hold a lot and can actually absorb 10 times its weight. You won’t even feel that they are there which is always a plus.
They are perfect if you have had stitches done since they are soft and doesn’t have mesh that can get caught. They also adhere really well and stay in place.
They are made of 100% organic cotton, which will keep you safe from chemicals and also prevent irritation. They are biodegradable so they are also good for the environment.
They are big, wide, long, and have wings which are great for heavy bleeding as well as overnight for when you are in a reclined position.
Because of the raised, leak guard core, they are able to quickly absorb liquids and prevent accidents. They are also unscented so it’s great if you are sensitive to smells.
These are the best postpartum pads for overnight or for the first few weeks when you have a heavier flow.
Bamboo Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads –
It comes in various designs and is made of soft bamboo which is good for your perineum. Bamboo is also naturally antibacterial and helps to speed up the healing process. It is smooth and won’t catch your stitches.
Bonus Postpartum Recovery Tips
- Wear loose, breathable, and large underwear so you will feel more comfortable and prevent any skin issues and minimize soreness.
- Try to air out your vagina every once in a while to promote faster healing.
- Barrier creams/ balms can also help if your skin is getting irritated.
- If you notice any foul smell coming from your vagina/blood, contact your doctor since this can be a sign of infection.
- Adult diapers are another option you have for the first couple of days especially if you are experiencing heavy bleeding.
- As you are starting to heal, you can switch from heavy pads to regular pads and finally panty liners.
- Use a peri bottle filled with warm water to use after going to the bathroom since it is gentle and cleansing.
- Ice packs are great for postpartum healing when you are experiencing bruising or swelling.
- You can also use perineal pads down there to help you heal and give you instant relief.
- Medicated cooling pads are another option you have to provide relief to sensitive and itchy areas. The witch hazel found in these pads are good for healing.
When you are going through postpartum and the healing process, you want to choose the best postpartum pads to maximize your comfort!